Labour needs to place fiscal conservatism at the heart of its appeal


10:55 am - December 5th 2011

by Adam Lent    


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Labour’s approach to winning back lost votes seems to be based on two strategies.

The ‘Mastermind’ strategy is based on the belief that it’s the smartest guy in the room who wins out. By correctly predicting the mess the Government will make of the economy, support will apparently flood back to Labour.

The ‘Megaphone’ strategy is founded on the principle that if the Party gives voice to voters’ suffering, they will see Labour as their best hope of respite from declining living standards.

Last week should have proved a turning point for both approaches. Osborne had to admit he was off-target apparently vindicating the Shadow Chancellor’s claims. Simultaneously millions of working people downed tools to protest at the squeeze on their living standards.

The polls, however, are treacherous. They suggest support for Osborne actually grew last week. Indeed, there has been little shift in the widespread view that while austerity hurts, it is still absolutely necessary.

As I and my co-authors argue in In The Black Labour, the problem is the Party cannot cut through until it wins back trust.

Being proved right or being a big voice for the people will always be beside the point, if voters don’t believe Labour is in a fit state to run the economy. Enough people vote for who they viscerally sense is best able to govern the country to make a real difference to the outcome of an election.

The big blockage to the renewal of that trust is the popular view that Labour messed up the public finances and has yet to face up to the reality of a new world where money is exceptionally hard to come by.

So the first and most urgent task for Labour is not to show how smart they are nor how much they speak for the people but to start what will be a very long hard slog back to public trust.

In the paper, we suggest that this, at least initially, requires three things:

  • An unashamed fiscally conservative message needs to be placed at the heart of Labour’s appeal. That means much greater clarity on when and how Labour would clear the deficit and on how it would be held to its plans by an outside body like the OBR. This needs to be more than cosmetic. Labour needs to be comfortable that fiscal conservatism is an absolute pre-requisite of the economic stability and growth that protects the living standards and aspiration the left cherishes.
  • Fiscal conservatism needs to pervade all that Labour says: proclaiming your hawkish credentials in one breath while attacking nearly every cut the Government makes in the next is not credible.
  • Labour needs to accept the reality that extreme fiscal pressures are not a short-term problem but likely to be around for many, many years. That means a complete rethink of how we go about promoting social justice. We need a new policy framework that creates a social democracy without cash to splash. This means focusing public spending on growth and job creation and hardwiring equality into the economy through pro-active growth strategies and reform rather than seeing the welfare system as a quick route to social justice.

In short, by honestly facing up to the economic reality the majority of voters accepted some time ago, Labour will also be facing up to the electoral reality it cannot afford to hide from any longer.

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About the author
Adam is an occasional contributor, former Head of Economics TUC, Associate Fellow at IPPR and co-author of 'In The Black Labour'.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


I think we may as well be done with it and suggest that labour, lib dem and conservatives merge into one ruling party to rule them all for all eternity.

2. Chaise Guevara

I see. Your plan for a Labour victory is to finish what was started under Blair and replace them with Conservatives 2.0.

Has it occurred to you that there are reasons that people want a Labour government other than thinking that red rosettes look especially pretty? Like, for example, fighting those things you want to bring in because you only care about party politics?

3. Alisdair Cameron

And human, social values (I know not to expect socilailism, or anything approximating it…)? Or tackling the vested interests, and shocking power of the financial marketeers, operating a system in which they cannot lose, but the masses do?
And lines like “hardwiring equality into the economy through pro-active growth strategies and reform” while also implicitly downgrading welfare really do make the heart sink.

The authors may be interested in some US like minded thinkers.

” Fiscal responsibility should not be equated with a small government, but rather with a commitment to pay for the government services provided . . . fiscal responsibility entails raising the revenue to fund these programs, rather than borrowing for them.”

From here
http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2011/11/solving_america_1.html

And this recent Vox report on public debt
http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/6982

Because austerity has such a good track record of solving recession. Who is this man? Who pays him?

6. Charles Wheeler

So Labour needs to mimic the Tories?

This is crass, economically illiterate tripe – and we can already vote for that.

Polls show the public accept the need to deal with the deficit, but also believe that the cuts are being made too swiftly, are too deep, and are being implemented in an unjust way. So Labour is on the right side of the main political argument, but that was never going to translate into trust and support so soon after the meltdown of 2010. It is completely naive to think that it would.

Why would anyone expect the public to be rushing to embrace Labour 18 months after the second greatest electoral defeat of its history? Its not as if Labour suddenly became unpopular under Gordon Brown. It won in 2005 with 35% of the vote, i.e. it was basically handed that victory by the incompetance of the Tory party. Blair’s approval ratings were in freefall around that time. Five million voters were lost, mostly not to the political right, and the idea that they could all be won back if Labour were more like the Tories is fanciful.

One more thing. The “there is no money left” narrative assumes that one of the most unequal (and richest) countries in the developed world can’t redistribute wealth, i.e. make better use of what it has. Why would anyone on the centre-left sign up to that proposition?

Ironically, the reason that Black Labour may not gain much traction is that it doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong if, viscerally, nobody trusts them.

I think if there is one thing to take from the Blair years, is that turning the labour party ever further right and identical to the tories was a good thing, successful and popular, and that more of the same is the only way to go.
1997 13,518,167
2001 10,724,953
2005 9,552,436
2010 8,606,517

Er, hang on a minute. Osborne’s plan ‘A’ has failed and everyone accepts it has failed. His ‘plan’ was to cut spending and then the private sector would seep into the vacuum, snapping up workers, providing them with incomes, thus moving from the public sector into the private sector economy and no-one would notice the difference.

That plan it in tatters around our ankles as unemployment heads in an upward direction, part time work has shot through the roof and growth has been chocked off. The high street is teetering on the brink of collapse.

And now we are told that the best way for Labour to ‘win back trust’ is to pretend the plan has, in fact, worked? Even though everyone with even an eye open can see the plan’s entrails strewn across the economy, people are losing there jobs, taking wage freezes/cuts, losing incomes and being threatened with homelessness and we can win them over by saying ‘everything is going according to plan’. Labour can ‘win trust’ by telling people that job losses and wage cuts are not happening?

So the best way to deal with Tory lies, is to accept the lies as ‘truth’ and move on? That is a good way of gaining trust? You seriously think that? You seriously think that Labour should sit there and listen to lies, then just say ‘Oh, alright, then, shucks, what are we like?’ accept that lies are believed more than truth because it is an easier sell?

In effect, you are saying that the Tories can say what they like about Labour and Labour need to get their head around it and adopt it as policy? So the Tories could say ‘The Labour Party believe that homosexuals should be allowed have sex with ten year old boys’ and pow! That is what Labour’s policy? Labour need to say ‘We now withdraw support for homosexual’s rights because it led to ten year olds getting buggered’.

Sometimes I seriously wonder about the State of British politics and I wonder how the Left have managed to get strung up like this. Okay, I could accept simple errors of judgement, some tactical howlers and some blatant own goal scoring, but for fuck’s sake accepting policies we know have failed, the public know have failed, even the most optimistic advocates of the policy know it’s failed too. The only people who still think the policy is working are the socipaths who advance the policy for ideological reasons. And now ‘we’ should pretend it has succeeded in order, of all things to ‘gain trust’?

Good comment Jim.

12. Man on Clapham Omnibus

Couldnt disagree with you more.
The reason Labour havent got a hope in hell is because things have changed and they dont realise it.
Politically they basically handed a gift to the tories after the election in respect of the economic mess and what caused it. The mess was in fact a global financial meltdown.The Tories said it was Labour. Labour said NOTHING. Thats why Labour have so much ground to make up. To compound their political error the Labour party now has the most unelectable leader since Michael Foot. More than anything, politics is about vision.Thats what elected Thatcher and the son of Thatcher ,Tony Blair.
You dont offer vision in your article , you offer management.
The vision for a forward looking party must surely be one which turns our Feudal society where the capitalist barons control the State to a Society where the State controls the huge corporatist entities which shape our lives and denude the process of democracy.

What needs to examined is the role of offshore in filtering away taxable revenues.
Off exchange trades
Block trades
Short selling
Off balance sheet entities
The role of Hedge funds etc etc etc
Inland Revenue policy towards taxation of multinational entites to correct the disgraceful episodes such as Vodaphone ,Citibank and Goldmann Sachs to name but a few.
The role these big corporation act as advisors to Goverment and questions regarding their propriety.(a good example is Hank Paulson tipping off his ex Goldmann Sachs mates whilst issueing contrary statements on belhalf of the US government in respect of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac )

Just some of this might help to fund the likes of the NHS in the future assuming it exists in the future.

Furthermore development of economic areas other than finance are vital. We need to develop policies to encourage a sustain good original design and implementation and educational strategies to support the good technical and scientific skills required to support these initiatives.

I suggest unless bold steps are taken and these Visions carried into the political sphere by competent politicans ,issues around welfare spending will be an ever diminshing lost cause.

13. flyingrodent

Each to their own, I suppose. I’m no Labour tribalist myself but…

…Given that the Lib Dems and Tories a) only squeaked a majority together against the least popular Labour government of the last thirty years and b) have proven to be a hideous, job-destroying, wealth-crushing, slapstick disaster themselves, I suggest the following policy proposal –

“Labour should put ‘Not being an openly insane and hateful bunch of soulless, vicious sellouts or a gaggle of incompetent, butter-fingered idiots’ at the heart of its appeal”.

Now, I appreciate how difficult it will be for the Labour Party to achieve this goal, given its vast shortage of non-insane, likable, competent not-sell-out MPs. It’s going to be a long and gruelling road, a marathon slog… For most Labour MPs, it’ll be more of a death-march towards certain electoral exterimation, rather than a formative journey towards electability.

Nonetheless, if they tried very hard, I think Labour could pull this one off. They’d have to wear convincing “Vaguely honest human being” disguises and try very hard not to openly confess to being shameless hacks or yes-men for the duration, but I think it really is possible.

And frankly, if they can’t win a majority against this mob of fruitcakes and closet cases, I suggest that we just dissolve government and put a bunch of hamsters in charge. We could paint words like “Quantitative Easing” or “Crackdown on the disabled” on the floor, then put the hamsters in little hamsterballs and have them run around, choosing policy for us via the words they go to sleep on.

Statistically speaking, there’s a good chance that the hamsters would have a better success rate than Cameron and Osborne.

Kiss goodbye to Scotland and Wales then.

For a more detailed critique of why this strategy is stupid try here: http://refusingthedefault.blogspot.com/2011/01/principles-and-power-with-diagrams.html

Labour has a big problem, not unlike the Tories post-97, in that it is tarnished by its record in office, particularly around the financial crash. That may sound like stating the obvious, but there are certain effects of this that do not appear to be recognised within the party.

First, I don’t care how much of an attack dog Ed Balls is or how much he likes to throw punches at George Osborne – when he gets up to speak an awful lot of voters will see Gordon Brown, because they know he was Gordon’s right hand man. No-one is fooled. Yvette Cooper would probably have the same policies (for better or worse) without the same baggage, but Ed Miliband can’t make that switch now because he’s already switched once, thanks to his nonsensical initial appointment of Alan Johnson.

Second, and more significantly, Labour can’t properly identify public sector waste because it would involve them admitting they got it badly wrong in office. There *is* public sector waste – but it doesn’t exist where the government says it does. Plenty of waste stems from grand magic-bullet IT schemes (not just the NHS; the fire service as well); PFIs and PPPs (the Tories have pinpointed problems here but are sticking with the overall policy); a general marketisation agenda that saw an explosion in public sector executive pay (matching ‘private sector pay’ without shouldering private sector risks) and the hiring of expensive management consultants; the booming of the inefficient Serco state; a housing benefits bill resulting from a refusal to build council housing; an ever-more complex benefits system that needs a great big bureaucracy to administer it with little pay-off in terms of reduced fraud and error; etc etc.

Most of what I have listed in the previous paragraph were hallmarks of the Labour government approach. Now, they certainly don’t account for the majority of Britain’s public spending – and there’s no way of matching Tory spending plans (or, I would hazard, Labour spending plans) without making severe cuts to vital services.

But if you are going to take the decision that this Tory spending cuts rhetoric can no longer be glossed over with ‘jobs not cuts’ (a dubious decision, but Labour can do what it likes as far as I’m concerned), you’re going to have to come up with a credible explanation of what money you spent that should now not be spent.

You can either do that by selling out (yet again) the people you claim to represent by going along with big cuts to frontline services; or you can admit that much of the public sector waste that exists is due to the approach to public services that Labour took – one with marketisation at its heart. That would also allow you to attack the government for magnifying your mistakes by going in for even more of this marketisation lark. But to do that, the members of the shadow frontbench would basically have to admit that the decisions they took in government were often hopelessly wrong.

And on the basis of what we’ve seen so far, that ain’t gonna happen.

I have lost the will to live. This is the same old crap that poured forth from blue labour over the last 13 years. WE SHOULD NOT PAY BACK ANY MONEY TO THOSE WHO GOT US IN THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE! THE SYSTEM IS BROKEN BEYOND REPAIR.

Please give me strength!

The fiscal conservatism can’t come without radical changes elsewhere though. Things like proper re-regulation of finance (not the Vickers’ report designed by the very people and very principles that failed in the first place) so that it aids domestic value-creation and savers would be a good place to start.

Saving money through reforming a prison system that clearly fails but expands solely through politicians’ lack of guts challenging the Mail consensus is another.

Forcing worker-representation on corporate boards, a land-value tax which at once is redistributary but also helps curb the regressive house-price bubble etc These kind of reforms to the political economy have to be fought for alongside a demand for restricted state spending if fiscal conservatism is to have a clear progressive edge.

On the other hand there is also the problem that without stimulus the recession will deepen. But if savings can be made elsewhere a compelling case for state spending aimed at investment and growth rather than consumption can be made.

18. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@14
‘Labour has a big problem, not unlike the Tories post-97, in that it is tarnished by its record in office, particularly around the financial crash. That may sound like stating the obvious, but there are certain effects of this that do not appear to be recognised within the party.’

Do you mean they tarnished their record by their own actions or their record was tarnished by the Tories. There is a difference.

19. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@15

Isnt just…. lamentable crap!

20. Man on Clapham Omnibus

@16

so what radical changes do you have in mind??

If equality really was going to be “hardwired into the economy” then sign me up.

A more likely scenario is this. We get a cross-party consensus around fiscal conservatism, strengthening the right-wing frame of “TINA”. Despite “In The Black Labour” co-author Hopi Sen’s plea that “fiscal conservatism for the long term doesn’t mean fiscal stupidity in a crisis” it will indeed come to dominate the short-term debate too (that’s certainly how Toby Young, Dan Knowles, etc have taken ITBL). And despite Adam’s claims that equality will be “hardwired” into the economy, it won’t be – because that’s, like, really hard and the authors haven’t said anything about how they will do this. So the poor get poorer.

Assuming we don’t manage to hardwire equality into the economy by 2015-17, there is another way to make fiscal conservatism fairer: increased and more redistributive taxation (along with closing the tax gap). The point was made by Polly Toynbee and others when they warned New Labour: you can’t have Swedish levels of welfare with US levels of taxation.

Is this what the authors have in mind? I’m not sure it is – but they do need to tell us much more about the “social justice” part of their argument.

I do not vote for the laour party because I do not vote tory. I will never vote for a party which accepts usury. That is what we have been promoting and pretending it is something new and different makes not a whit of difference.

It is no surprise to me that people in the labour party would come out with something like that. That is the Blair project and they are intent on power at all costs. But I am Scottish and so they have failed to disenfranchise me: I vote SNP because I do not vote tory and that is the only effective alternative open to me.

Those in England do not have such an alternative: but they will because ultimately there are too many people who have been disenfranchised in this way.

If the labour party continue to support criminal usury they are no different from their tory counterparts and may as well join them. There are millions of people like me who are in need of an alternative: pray that is not a totalitarian party when it finally arises. Labour has no principles, nor heart, nor understanding of the situation: they have only the same as the tories: and that is treason. There is no mandate to pass control of our state to plutocrats who are neither elected nor accountable.

There is no alternative because Labour has made that true. Shame on them

“First, I don’t care how much of an attack dog Ed Balls is or how much he likes to throw punches at George Osborne – when he gets up to speak an awful lot of voters will see Gordon Brown, because they know he was Gordon’s right hand man.”

According to Lord Ashcroft’s research, not a single floating voter in the focus groups was aware that Ed Balls used to be an adviser to Gordon Brown. Only around 50% of voters knew who Ed Balls was, and one of the main concerns about him was his lack of experience with the economy, as people remembered him as Education Secretary.

The other interesting finding from Ashcroft’s research is that when people hear about ‘the cuts’, they think this means everything from wage freezes to rising food and fuel prices to difficulty in getting a loan. The debate about the economy amongst the electorate is rather different from that in the bubble (which I think is one of the weaknesses of the paper).

http://lordashcroft.com/pdf/27112011_thechexfactor.pdf

“in that it is tarnished by its record in office, particularly around the financial crash”

No, it was tarnished by 2 factors; (1) the iraq war, and (2) immigration. Which were issues that lost it two seperate sets of voters, both of whom need to be won back.

@17 – there’s a bit of both. There was a huge amount of propaganda from the likes of the Taxpayers Alliance attacking all government spending; then you had episodes such as the NHS IT fiasco that were grounded in truth. I guess people could put up with shambles such as NHS IT while the deficit wasn’t headline news, but once it was, the real examples got morphed with the TPA propaganda. So it’s partly Labour’s own record, and partly the propaganda against it.

@20 – ‘fiscal conservatism’, at least as I understand it, is not about redistributive taxation to maintain levels of spending whilst cutting the deficit. It’s about spending less, period. If Labour goes down the road of ‘fiscal conservatism’ we’re in for even more of a no-choice election in 2015 or whenever than we are at the moment.

@23 – the Iraq War was an issue in 2005; it decidedly wasn’t in 2010, and many of the lost voters came back, I dare say mainly to keep out the Tories. Clearly they lost some support over immigration, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish and I’d question how many people would prioritise that over the economy right now.

Two other general points worth making:

First, Labour has no policies. You can have whatever ‘strategy’, ‘vision’ or any other b****cks you want, but if you have no policies at all (beyond a tiny VAT cut that no-one seriously thinks will sort out the economy) no-one will trust you. Which is why the policy-free Tories were unable to get an overall majority in what should have been a landslide election. People may not scour every policy proposal with a magnifying glass, but they like to know that they at least exist.

Second, you can go down this fiscal conservatism path, running around to appease right wing newspaper columnists and their interpretations of why you aren’t doing well – but if you once more abandon those who are bearing the brunt of austerity economics, and leave them without any representation, they will find other means of making themselves heard. And when that happens, you won’t like it.

labour’s problem is that it has lost its core voters, not right wingish swing voters. This is not the problem for the tories, who are pretty much JUST their core voters these days.

If what is needed to meet the demands of capitalism is to leave the old, the invalid, the mentally slow, anyone with mental health issues to effectively live a miserable existence of destitution, then all I can say is build the alternative to capitalism.

Because that is what Black Labour is offering. A long dark nighttime of the soul.

Kevin

28. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Sure, leave half the country with no representation whilst de-facto extorting taxation from them.

What could possibly go wrong.

@22 – well most people I know (who aren’t politicos of any sort) are aware of the link, but if that’s his finding I’ll accept that point.

There is a vast array of different ideas that are being advanced outside Labour (and on the fringes within it), some radical, some less so, about the direction Britain should go in – in terms of tackling the tax gap, reducing inequality, redistributing income, spending on preventative services to avoid higher costs later.

But because the Labour leadership doesn’t have the humility or the courage to listen to these ideas and take them on board, and doesn’t have the guts to push policies now instead of staying quiet and hoping to win in 2015 by default, people are looking to drive it back to some kind of reheated Blairism and parroting the Tory line just to gain a couple of percentage points in the latest YouGov polls. It’s criminal. But it is not unexpected.

So the problem is not that Labour lacks an identity and convincing policies – it’s that it hasn’t adopted Osbornesque folly and delusion hard or fast enough? There’s a problem with this approach, as I am sure you’ll see in the course of time.

“I will never vote for a party which accepts usury.”

Until you can find a party that wishes to destroy lending at interest, you are going to be stuck in the ranks of the politically inactive. Sorry, but them’s the facts.

Adam, If you think that the Conservative policy is better despite its evident failure, then join the Tories. The point of democracy is that we’re meant to have a choice, and if on the big issue of the day there’s no choice, then theres no point.

‘promoting social justice’ while all the money goes from the poorest to the richest (as it now is) isn’t possible. The Tories are pretending to do it now, and its a nice PR stunt for them, and your ‘policy framework’ would be much the same.

other points: this article sounded like a parody, Strong agreement with posts 1 @Joe and 9 @Jim

“people are looking to drive it back to some kind of reheated Blairism”

It’s more the blairites who haven’t any new ideas, and can’t accept that history has been very unkind to him. They also think because Blair was extremely succesful in winning elections for them in 97 and 2001 they should go back to him. This ignores the fact that post 2003 he was a liability.

The really funny thing is that most of them would now regard the 97 manifesto and first term policies as dangerous radicalism (fox hunting ban, end to road building, windfall tax on excess profits of utility companies, major constitutional changes, reforms of police service to tackle institutional racism, ….those were the days……)

They also think because Blair was extremely succesful in winning elections for them in 97 and 2001 they should go back to him. This ignores the fact that post 2003 he was a liability.

Only up to a point – he was certainly not as popular as he had been, but he was still less of a liability than the only person who could have replaced him as leader.

@30: No. Those are not the facts actually.

You are, of course, correct that usury originally referrred to all lending at interest: and, is, I think, still seen that way in Islamic law. Other ways of financing business etc is used in countries which subscribe to Sharia. But it is long time since all interest was described as usury: it is usually now used to refer to excessive interest, though that is not really my own useage: following a different thread of the debate about usury I oppose lending for consumption, at interest.

http://thosebigwords.forumcommunity.net/?t=48967309&p=340716613

Usury is detrimental at all times and always: it leads inexorably the concentration of wealth in the hands of the money lenders and to misery and fear for the rest. It has been controlled by the polity as a recognised source of damage to civil society most of the time.

What we have seen in the financial sector is nothing new: it is just usury and it is as old as humanity. I like to call things by their name: it makes things clearer. It also allows us to learn from earlier errors: which calling stuff by new names does not assist

36. gastro george

Can we not find enough stakes to drive into the hearts of these neo-Blairites that refuse to die?

“but he was still less of a liability than the only person who could have replaced him as leader.”

I think that says more about the quality of cabinet members under blair than it does about Blair’s abilities. Also the way in which the party over-promoted careerists like the milibands over local activists with outside experience. If in 97 they had sent the milibands and balls away into industry/the real world for a few years or so (it isn’t as if they wouldn’t have been able to arrange this) before getting safe seats then maybe there would be a higher calibre of candidates.

I have always regarded myself as “fiscally conservative” – parsimony is my middle name. This is why I am so much in favour of public services. In spite of the government’s claims, the NHS is extremely cost-effective and any attempts to get private sector involvement have pushed costs up. (This does not mean that the NHS cannot learn from the private sector, but that the idea that any form of privatisation will cut costs is dimwitted.)

For example, the government’s AQP policy (where patients will be given a range of private providers) is a sure way of losing the NHS a lot of money. For such a scheme to be effective all the providers will have to have the spare capacity for fickle patients to choose them. Spare capacity costs. A single provider, with planning, can be run at optimum capacity. At a time of austerity it is simply insane to be introducing a policy like AQP.

Totally, totally foolish. Austerity is the wrong policy for a recession, 180 degrees wrong. It has been tried many times and always ends up making the problem worse. It is a solution touted by those ignorant of economics and those who want to use it for right-wing ideological purposes.

The only way forward for the Labour party is to own up to the mistake Alistair Darling made in signing up to austerity, learn to love the deficit as the correct solution to stimulating the economy, and move on to the real concern: unemployment.

“the problem is the Party cannot cut through until it wins back trust.”

On the economy at least, voters have no good reason not to trust Labour. I’m sorry, but if we’re already right (which we are), it makes no sense and is probably unethical to change our position just to pander to voters like some sort of supermarket chain.

“An unashamed fiscally conservative message needs to be placed at the heart of Labour’s appeal”

Given the choice between a fake Tory and a real Tory, people will vote for the real Tory every time. That, of course, is before we even consider the disaster that is Osbornomics. We need a real economic strategy and a real economic debate – and you won’t achieve either of them by pretending to be Cameron 5.0. We need to move away from the failed American model, look at how Germany and Scandinavia have prospered – and reinvent the British economy on that basis.

42. Leon Wolfson

Tory. You’re just working for them, to *ensure* that the left stay home.

I’m sure you find killing the poor with cold and starvation entirely acceptable, as the Tories do. I don’t.

@24 – Absolutely. It’s crackdown on skilled workers hurt it with the left. For the rest, if you’re suggesting that Labour needs to appeal to the EDL and BNP…go join them.

You will not win back the voters for a long, long while,

What Labour did to this country will never be forgotton. My nephews can’t go to the same school as my sister and I becuase the school has said the places are for non-UK children (i.e. Polish) and they now have to travel another 2 miles to a school in chav central. Labour has ruined this school as well by creating the epidemic of “entitled” dickheads who populate the other school. Feckless white trash.

You have taxed me out of existance to pay for “the most vulnerable”. personally I couldn’t give a tom titt about the “most vulnerable”. “Most vulnerable” = single mothers, Asians, African Immigrants and anyone apart from white working class males, you know, the ones that pay for everything, fight wars etc.

Labour are utter selfish bastards, only concerned with the agenda for their special interest groups, hijacking words like “fair” and twisting their meaning so far out of shape it’s like 1984.

As I said, utter bastards, and entirelyu unforgivable.

42 I’m sure you find killing the poor with cold and starvation entirely acceptable, as the Tories do. I don’t.

Oh my god, pomposity meter about to break. All those cold, starving dears with flatscreen TVs, 5 kids and sky TV. You ass.

@24 – Absolutely. It’s crackdown on skilled workers hurt it with the left. For the rest, if you’re suggesting that Labour needs to appeal to the EDL and BNP…go join them.

The reality is it’s mal-adjusted buffoons like you that are ensuring that the far right will continue to grow. The EDL and BNP are beginning to appeal to many more people than you would give credit for. Perhaps if the Labour party did what they were supposed to – represent the working class instead of the guilt complexes of the middle class, women who just keep getting pregnant, and those who aren’t white (that’s racism if you didn’t get it that way round) then they might be more popular.

I voted labour, many of my friends certainly my entire family did until you turned your backs on the working class that put you there in the first place. 100 years of union achievements – swept aside by importing a cheaper workforce for the sack of economic growth and re-election – and the arrogant so-and-sos say “it’s jobs you don’t want to do, they work harder than you – have some benefits and sit on your backside deary”

Now I sit looking at the far-right thinking “even though I don’t agree with most of their policy, these guys actually represent me”

@44 REACTIONARY KLAXON!

Oh my god, pomposity meter about to break. All those cold, starving dears with flatscreen TVs, 5 kids and sky TV.

What all of them?

You’ve done a survey?

Or are you just belching out simplistic reactionary claptrap?

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 45

“Or are you just belching out simplistic reactionary claptrap?”

Ooh, ooh! I know!

I’m pretty sure that our learned friend Hoongdiddy gets all of his/her factual beliefs based on whatever he/she read in the Daily Mail this week, then cheerfully vomits them up onto this site in the belief the he/she is Raising Challenging Points.

Over on another thread, Hoongdiddy has just explained that OccupyLSX need to be followed by the cops as they’re Marxists, and therefore responsible for the greatest mass-murder in the last century. Who’d have known?

Obviously every inteligent Labour MP knows perfectly well how to get ourt of recession in days. Equally obviously none of them have the remotest intention of doing so. These thieving fascist parasites unquestionably want the recession to continue for generations so that the scum can lord it over the rest of us.

Obviously this makes it rather difficult for the parasites to “win” trust.

Or is there a single apparatchik of that party of genocidal, organlegging, war criminals who can claim they don’t know how to end the recession?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Anthony Painter

    And @adamjlent links economic to political reality in an @libcon blog on #intheblacklabour http://t.co/4iJ8roFe

  2. Adam Lent

    #UK: @adamjlent continues the "In the black Labour" debate @libcon -"need to honestly face up to economic reality" http://t.co/hmx9nNIW

  3. Hopi Sen

    Lots of #intheblacklabour interest today -so forgive RTs starting with @adamjlent http://t.co/Y8uzAOHT and @jennirsl http://t.co/RJQiCF56

  4. Annette Carter

    Labour needs to place fiscal conservatism at the heart of its appeal …: Most of what I have listed in the prev… http://t.co/zLZQe3Yh

  5. sunny hundal

    "According to Ashcroft research, not a single floating voter in focus groups was aware Ed Balls used to advise Brown" http://t.co/jTQxGGXi

  6. Richard Nicholl

    "According to Ashcroft research, not a single floating voter in focus groups was aware Ed Balls used to advise Brown" http://t.co/jTQxGGXi

  7. Sean Lynch

    "According to Ashcroft research, not a single floating voter in focus groups was aware Ed Balls used to advise Brown" http://t.co/jTQxGGXi

  8. Kiran Bolla

    "According to Ashcroft research, not a single floating voter in focus groups was aware Ed Balls used to advise Brown" http://t.co/jTQxGGXi

  9. Jamie

    Why I'm rapidly losing support & tiring of Labour > Labour needs to place fiscal conservatism at heart of its appeal http://t.co/ZN3C4MtD

  10. Robert CP

    And @adamjlent links economic to political reality in an @libcon blog on #intheblacklabour http://t.co/4iJ8roFe

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  20. Gracie Samuels

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